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DuPage County asset division attorney

Asset division during divorce involves much more than simply splitting a couple’s bank accounts. Complex assets, such as stocks and retirement funds, must also be accounted for. If you are considering getting a divorce in Illinois, you may have concerns about how your combined property will be divided between you and your spouse. You may also be unsure of which assets your spouse is entitled to and which assets are yours alone. Retirement account assets may be the result of years, if not decades, of hard work so they are often a significant portion of the marital estate. Understanding how these assets are divided during divorce is essential to ensure a fair settlement of the marital estate.

Classifying Retirement Assets as Marital or Separate

Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that property is distributed in an equitable, but not always even, manner during a divorce. Property division is based on many factors, including each spouse’s financial circumstances, their contributions to the acquisition of property, child custody arrangements, and much more. Only marital property is divided during an Illinois divorce. Marital property includes any assets that were acquired during the marriage. Nonmarital, or separate property, includes property acquired through inheritance or gift as well as property obtained by either spouse before the marriage. Retirement funds that a spouse accumulated before getting married are classified as nonmarital, and therefore, not subject to division. However, the portion of the retirement assets that were accumulated during the marriage is considered a marital asset and will need to be divided. It is essential to note that retirement plans will not be divided if a divorcing couple has signed a valid prenuptial agreement that excludes retirement assets.


Wheaton grey divorce lawyerToday, the divorce rate in America is on a steady decline. In large part, this decline is due to the fact that many young Americans are not pursuing divorce. However, among elderly Americans, the divorce rate has been rising over the past few decades. According to the Pew Research Center, divorce has doubled among Americans over the age of 50 since 1990. If you believe that a gray divorce is the right choice for you, it is time to speak with an attorney you can trust. 

Important Aspects of Your Divorce 

When divorcing as an older American, it is especially important to ensure that your financial future will remain intact. Below are a few of the most important criteria to consider as you navigate the divorce process:

  • Your Retirement Plan: As your divorce is finalized, one of the most important aspects you and your legal team need to focus on is how your retirement accounts and/or pensions will be affected. Your retirement benefits and finances may be at jeopardy during your divorce, so you will want to take steps to ensure that you will have the financial resources you need when it is time to retire.
  • Collegiate Financial Support: For many older Americans pursuing a divorce, there are teenage children involved. While child support responsibilities typically cease when a child turns 18, securing support for a non-minor can be critical for assisting your child through their college years. With the help of a quality legal team, a judge may order support for college expenses. Having access to advanced education can be monumental in ensuring a healthy long-term financial future for your children. 
  • Planning Ahead: Pursuing a divorce as an older adult can be a truly frightening experience. By speaking with your attorney about the issues that are most important to you, you can be sure to understand your options and work to devise a plan and expedite the divorce process. A divorce can be a great opportunity to start a new life, but the proper planning and strategy is essential. 

Contact a Wheaton Gray Divorce Attorney

At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our team fully understands how emotionally turbulent the divorce process can be. Divorces can be especially complicated when separating from a partner of multiple decades. As you cope with the emotions of your separation, our legal team is here to help you with all other aspects of your divorce. With decades of experience representing clients in a wide variety of divorce cases, we are confident in our ability to help you secure the vibrant and stable financial future you deserve. To set up a consultation with a DuPage County divorce lawyer, call our office at 630-462-9500. 


Posted on in Divorce

Overall, Americans are living longer, healthier lives than just a few decades ago. Ultimately, that is a positive thing, but this increased longevity is having a somewhat adverse effect on the older generation. With divorce rates for this population now double what they were just twenty years ago, many people entering retirement have found themselves financially strapped, despite having planned for their golden years. Why is this happening, and what can be done about it? The following explains.

Understanding Why the Financial Risk Exists

Couples usually start planning for retirement while in their 20s or 30s. Most assume they will still be together at that stage in their life, so they plan for a single home, one set of expenses, and one lifestyle. If they then divorce as they near retirement, all they have saved must then be split. Now, most couples only suffer a brief financial struggle after divorce, but they still have time to repair any damage that divorce may have done to their retirement plan. Individuals who are nearing retirement age may not have that same ability. Hence, they may be at a higher risk for long-term financial troubles. In extreme cases, couples may even have to completely revamp their retirement plan to accommodate the depletion of funds.


Of all the assets that couples possess, retirement accounts are often one of the largest. They are also one of the most difficult to divide. Do it incorrectly and you and your spouse stand to lose a significant amount of your nest egg - and not just immediately. Improper division of a retirement account can also lead to major tax headaches. The following information can help you understand some of the most common pitfalls of retirement asset division in divorce, and how you may be able to avoid them.

Each Type of Plan Has Its Own Rules

One of the most important things to understand is that each type of plan has its own set of rules. For example, with an IRA, the division should be treated as a transfer "incident to divorce." Failure to label it this way can result in tax penalties for withdrawing early. Some plans need a QDRO to transfer assets from one spouse to the other, and certain qualified plans have limited flexibility when it comes to changing your beneficiaries (which you should always do after a divorce has been finalized). An experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the particulars of your plan.


Posted on in Divorce

Society tends to think of divorce as a "younger" generation issue - one that plagues couples who jumped in too fast, failed to discuss the important details, or were unable to weather life's storms together. Yet, this is not the case. In fact, statistics indicate that the rate of divorce for couples over the age of 50 has more than doubled over the last two decades. Does this mean they are too late for divorce? Is it possible that they have found some sort of secret fountain of youth? Or are these couples simply embracing retirement by making a fresh, new start?

Driving Forces Behind Later-Life Divorce

While the reasons behind later-life divorces are often multifaceted and as unique as each individual couple, experts believe the biggest driving forces are longer lives, better health, and more financial independence among women. People are living well into their 80s and 90s, and often with fewer years of disability. This generation of retirees (the "Baby Boomers") are also the first generation with a strong female workforce. In fact, many of them have been working since they were young and may even have retirement accounts of their own. Because of this, they are in a better position to financially support themselves after a divorce.

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